7 Oct, 2019 @ 22:33
1 min read

British pensioner charged ‘four times’ normal taxi fare to Alicante Airport after falling ill with double pneumonia and sleeping through entire drive


A BRITISH pensioner who fell ill with double pneumonia while on the Costa Blanca is seeking action after her taxi driver from Calpe to Alicante airport charged ‘four times’ the normal fare.

Julia Upton, 74, was due to catch a flight to Exeter from Alicante last July 28 when she become so infirm she cancelled a bus transfer and her landlord booked a taxi.

She slept through the 50-minute journey only to wake up to a metre showing €377 – four times the usual €90 charge.

She said she was ‘too ill to argue’ as the callous driver took the notes from her purse before calling travel assistance to aid Julia’s boarding.

But her condition worsened as she was given emergency oxygen during the flight and, upon landing, rushed by ambulance to Exeter Hospital where she was diagnosed with double pneumonia. 

Julia Upton Charged 4 Times Normal Fare
OVERCHARGED: Julia Upton was charged four time the normal rate for an Alicante airport transfer from Calpe on the Costa Blanca

She told the Olive Press recovery took ‘eight weeks’, including more than a week in hospital where she was on oxygen ’24 hours a day’.

“The drive knew I was ill, and he asked if I had cards and cash before I got in the car,” Julia told the Olive Press.

“His metre started running, but I was so ill with what I thought was flu I fell asleep until we arrived, and I saw 377 euros on there.

“I think he must’ve changed the figures when I was sleeping.

“I was too ill to argue and I didn’t even have the strength to pay him.

“He took the notes carefully out of my purse, and said the extra price was due to it being a Sunday.”

Screenshot 2019 10 07 At 10 23 25 Pm
RIP-OFF: The route should take just 52 minutes. Source: Google maps

Julia claimed she booked the taxi through Taxi Calpe, but a spokeswoman for the company told the Olive Press ‘120 euros’ was the maximum rate for an airport transfer on a Sunday.

“This is clear fraud. The woman should immediately denounce the driver to police,” the spokeswoman added.

Julia has no receipt of the outrageous figure, but will make a denuncia to Calpe police when she returns in November.

“What an arsehole, taking advantage like that,” she said.

Joshua Parfitt

Joshua James Parfitt is the Costa Blanca correspondent for the Olive Press. He holds a gold-standard NCTJ in multimedia journalism from the award-winning News Associates in Twickenham. His work has been published in the Sunday Times, Esquire, the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Sun on Sunday, the Mirror, among others. He has appeared on BBC Breakfast to discuss devastating flooding in Spain, as well as making appearances on BBC and LBC radio stations.

Contact me now: [email protected] or call +44 07960046259. Twitter: @jjparfitt

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